Geoscientists strive to understand earth processes and develop solutions to society’s most challenging problems. They study the origin and evolution of our planet; the chemical and physical properties of minerals, rocks, and fluids; the structure of our mobile crust – its newly forming ocean floors and its ancient drifting continents; the history of life; and the human adaptation to earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and floods. The study of the earth is interdisciplinary, combing a knowledge of geology with a solid background in all sciences.

If you are intensely curious about the planet on which we live, challenged by problems which involve the Earth, and are intrigued by the potential of a subject which combines the best of both the arts and sciences, geology is a major you should consider.



  • Petrology & Geochemistry

    Our faculty combine field and experimental work, and theory to study a wide range of planetary processes including the physicochemical causes and timing of volcanic eruptions, the nature of deformation during regional metamorphism, the evolution of base and precious metal deposits, the connection between the mantle and the volcanic arc in subduction zones, mantle mineralogy, and the dynamics of core-mantle interaction.

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  • Sedimentary Geology & Paleontology

    Sediments, sedimentary rocks, and their fossil contents provide a record of how the Earth’s surficial processes have evolved over the past ~4 billion years.

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  • Tectonics & Structural Geology

    Our faculty research comprises field and laboratory based investigations into the tectonics of the continental crust and deeper mantle in both active and ancient settings at timescales ranging from a single earthquake event to billions of years.

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  • Climate & Surface Processes

    The climate and earth surface processes researchers at UNLV study interactions between water, rock, atmosphere, and soils, that are affected by, affect, and record the global climate. These researchers use techniques such as stable isotopes, trace elements, microbiology, and geo- and soil chemistry to better understand processes at the earth’s surface.

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  • Hydrological & Environmental Science

    Hydrological and environmental research at UNLV is balanced between field, laboratory, and numerical studies. Investigations range in scale from continental hydrology, to fundamental flow processes within individual pores and fractures.

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  • Planetary Science

    The study of other planets occurs on many levels, from experimental simulations to the active exploration of a planet’s surface. The research within the Planetary Sciences group covers many of these approaches, with a focus on the planet Mars.

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  • Student publications

    References to publications by our graduate students

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